Nervousness and tensions
Leen says there is uncertainty surrounding China’s growth prospects and nervousness over the standoff between the West and Russia over the Ukraine.
In the United States, extreme weather conditions are distorting economic data but Leen says ING economists hold the view that the economy there is improving.
Growth sustained for eurozone?
In the eurozone, there are finally signs that growth is not only taking hold but beginning to be sustained, Leen says.
“Retail sales are increasing and car sales are revving up. The first quarter of this year looks set to be the fourth consecutive quarter of economic growth when figures are announced in May.”
He says the main concern is the strength of the shared currency, the euro, which was a threat to the economic recovery and was “increasing deflationary pressures again”.